More U.S. adolescents are starting to vape at earlier ages, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers from the University of Michigan conducted an analysis of various cohorts of the National Youth Tobacco Survey from 2014 to 2018, which involved more than 26,000 participants. They found that 8.8% of lifetime vapers in 2014 said they first began vaping at age 14 or younger. In 2018, a total of 28.6% of lifetime vapers said they started vaping at age 14 or younger.

When compared to lifetime users of cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco, there was a slight drop in the percentage of initiation between the two years, with 55.8% of respondents in 2014 reporting initiating cigarette use at age 14 or younger, and 51.3% in 2018.

“Not only are more youths reporting e-cigarette use, but they are also beginning to use e-cigarettes at earlier ages,” the study authors wrote. “Public policies that restrict access to e-cigarettes and e-liquids and denormalize their use should be paramount priorities given the increasing number of adolescents initiating early use.”

The study comes as pressure mounts against JUUL and other vape manufacturers for their marketing of flavored e-liquids and marketing that appeared to target youth. It also comes as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was giving vape companies 30 days to stop manufacturing, distributing and selling unauthorized flavored cartridge-based vaping products such as fruit and mint flavors or face enforcement actions. However, the ban does not apply to tobacco or menthol flavors.

Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett are handling cases involving injuries related to vaping. We are looking at cases involving adolescent addiction and injuries including seizures, strokes, lung problems, and cardiovascular problems related to the use of JUUL vaping devices.

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